Poem: To What Base Use by Milky White (E.S. Emerson)

A bush bar held an old bush bard
   ('Twas yesternight at Got-a-thirst),
Beered-up, and whiskied, and three-starr'd --
   In fact, a bush bard on the burst.

And he was knocking down a cheque
   For poems supplied, and shouting beer
And fags for many a social wreck,
   Who, one by one, did chew his ear.

And what time blue and green and grey
   And yellow things climbed over him,
He spoke in an instructive way
   Of jams whose Christian name is Jim.

"They all have uses, friends," he said.
   "Observe that lizard on the bar;
Note the curved horns upon his head --
   He's worth at least a three-inch par.

"And that brown toad, with lips as blue
   As Buckley's chance, and that young snake,
With nineteen tails of different hue,
   They'll both good nature-studies make.

"I'd like to photograph them now,
   But -- see those scorpions on the chair!
They've both got udders like a cow,
   And cloven hoofs and golden hair!

"They form a genus of their own.
   S. platycerus, from the East;
Ah! what a pity they have flown;
   They meant an article at least.

"But never mind! This centipede --
   Note his dog-teeth, how huge and grim!
No doubt, no doubt I shall succeed
   To make Miltonic verse of him.

"And this" -- he rose and gripped the boss,
   And threw him heavily and knelt
Upon his bulky chest -- "this cross
   Between a pumpkin and a pelt,

"I'll screw its neck and bottle it
   In spirits, till a way I see
To dish it up well trimmed with wit --
   As Aboriginality."

But, oh! alas! that old bush bard,
   That old bush bard upon the burst,
He slept last night on something hard
   Down in the quod of Got-a-thirst.

And whilst this morn his head doth ache
   And all his senses seem to swim,
He knows the local rag will make
   A great big paragraph of him.

First published in The Bulletin, 11 March 1909

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on January 31, 2009 7:11 AM.

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